Last attack by Albert Contador. So the legend and the man of contradictions go

The street where the Trek bus is on is impenetrable. The crowd closed it, and the people occupied the stairs and porches of the surrounding houses. Finally, they did. “It’s coming! Albert, “he said.” The hands with mobiles and cameras will fly up.

Alberto Contador smiles and stands for selfie for five minutes, signing, shaking hands.

“I have not seen anything like this yet,” says his brother and manager Fran. “Alberto is a rock star at Vuelta this year, people are waiting for him everywhere. And he enjoys it. ”

ALL SPAIN THANKS. Thank you, Alberto.

“Gracias, Alberto,” he says constantly. The same simple sentence.It is sprayed on the roads, popped out of windows, appearing on Spanish but even Ecuadorian flags. “As if Michael Jordan was good at America,” compares Peter Stetina, another Trek cyclist.

So Alberto Contador leaves.

So he ends up in a 34-year career as a cyclist of many contradictions.

He was an intruder intruder, a man from the old school, despite the new era of directed wattmeters.

He was inspired by Lance Armstrong so he would not hate him.

He has faced charges of collaborating with doping physician Fuentes and later also of using forbidden clenbuterol, but he described the whole case as an outrageous plot. For many, not only in Spain, he became a legend,

So many times he fell on the track, often with his own fault, but at the same time he was able to race on the edge of pain and incredibly return to the scene, whether after fracture or after doping.

He showed deep affection to his friends, but at the same time, especially in recent years, he was too much subject to doubts and saw nonexistent mistakes that he kept out of the way, as those who knew him well.

This whole story did not have to be at all written. His career and life could end on May 12, 2004 at the Asturias race.

“We were just walking along a wide road, a light downhill,” said René Andrle, then Team Contador. “Suddenly Alberto departed. They asked him: What’s wrong? And he did not even react at all. He lost consciousness and fell off the road. ”

Tests at the hospital revealed a congenital flaw that resulted in a blood clot that had dragged into the brain and threatened it to life.Twice it was operated.

He began to read Lance Armstrong’s book on the bed. “She helped me believe I could come back.” He motivated him as the American defeated the cancer and ruled the Tour. He wanted to be like him. And when he was really in for the first triumph of the Tour in 2007, Armstrong took him out of the escort and said: “Alberto is the future of cycling.”

Which titles from Gira and Vuelta 2008 confirmed. At the age of 25, he became the fifth and the youngest cyclist to win all three Grand Tours during his career.

enemy enemies.Contador, on whose side remained only two assistants, accused during the Tour 2009 of Johan Bruyneela’s team that he was overjoyed by the American. For example by giving him a better, lighter bike in time.

“I’m fighting against everyone, even against my own team,” he wrote. And yet he won – and then said, “My relationship with Armstrong is zero. I never admired his character. “The American then countered:” Alberto has not gotten mentally. ”

Since then, Contador never wanted to feel that way. He always brought “his” Spaniards, whether riders, mechanics, speakers or advisors, to the teams he raced for.Perhaps that is why he did not make much progress in English, after several rather unconvincing attempts at the press conferences he returned to Spanish, and he replied with his favorite words “bueno” and “hombre”.

“Hombre, to have my feet, I will certainly attack again. Attack is my style. Attack, it’s me. ”

NOW IN VARIOUS TEAMS. Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong has set up his own team of Radioshack, Contador he stayed on the insistence of Alexander Vinokurov in Astana and after the battle with Andy Schleck he also won the Tour 2010. But only temporarily.The Anti-Doping Laboratory in Cologne revealed a “very low concentration of clenbuterol” in its sample.

There were five picograms, about 0.000 million, 05 grams of substance per milliliter of urine, but it was also criminal. When I talked about this value later in Prague with the legendary Eddy Merckx, he stood up to him: “What is stupidity? Disqualified for $ 0,000, even if they could not consciously take it? ”

Contador was in the victim’s seat, blaming the contaminated steak he had brought during the second free day of the Tour, “I’ve lost faith in justice and cycling.” The eighteen months of the endless stretch of his cause, she became the “South American soap opera” of countless accusations, trials, convictions, and appeals.By the time he reached the final, he was allowed to race in condition. On Giru 2011, already in the colors of Saxo Bank, he showed the most dominant performance of his career, where we did not even ask our colleagues in the mountains: Does Contador Ueda? The correct question was: Where is Contador going?

In Italy, he then showed how he can get a crowd with his charisma. In the initial stages, typhosi painted the name of the syringe on the road, whipped it, running ahead of him with the steak on the pole.

He, on the contrary, tried to be willing and loving to the fans – and gave gifts to the riders.When he got a big lead in the lead, he left the stage leadership in the mountains and his opponent José Rujan or former assistant Paul Tiralong.

Gradually, he pulled the audience and the media to his side, eventually celebrating the “Albert ConquisTADOR”. For more than six minutes he beat the Italian duo Michele Scarponi – Vincenzo Nibali. But…he did not even have this title, just like the one in the Tour 2010. After studying the 4,000-page suit, a two-year penalty with retroactive effect from July 2010. He vainly invested in defense of two million euros. “My morality is ruined,” he said in a monotonous voice, while all of Spain stood up behind him, and Marca wrote: “The sport arbitration has lost its senses.Contador’s conviction is the pinnacle of absurdity and a scandalous coup. The judges denied the foundations of law. ”

He did not end his career as he threatened. Morale was looking for his wife Macarena and her loved ones. He was fishing at sea, he was fascinated by the birds who were in a big aviary, hunted, cared for a younger child suffering from polio.

Comeback had a magnificent Saxo-Tinkoff stable.

Overturned the seemingly lost Vuelti 2014 by a long attack in an underestimated stage to the top 2.category Fuente Dé. “It was the most emotional experience for Alberto’s career,” his brother Fran remembers, as he removed from Joaquim Rodriguez’s red jersey. “We were waiting for him at the target with my mom and sister and we were so proud of him.” Then Contador broke the target in Madrid, showing seven raised fingers. Yes, so many Grand Tour titles could have. That two of them took him back? “It’s important to me how many times I’ve seen fans win,” he said. “When I start, Pain Relief

The Tour was pushed out of the pedestal by Chris Froom, but on Vuelta 2014, Brita had beaten even though it was just 40 days after Contador broke the tibia at the Tour.I watched him, lurking behind the goals of the opening stages, and thought: Someone can not win that. He said, “As soon as I get up, the pain is calming down. Without a wheel I would suffer more. ”

LAST TWO TITLES FROM GRAND TOUR. Vuelta 2014 and Giro 2015. After the winning Giru 2015, where he had a deal with Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa, and after a vain attempt to double, he fell more than shone, with a torn jersey and the look of the wounded animal he lost so many times on the bus.

“He stops believing and begins to be unhealthy suspicious. He’s also looking for an attack where none are.That’s why he’s panicking and falling, “remembered René Andrle, Contador’s expert and the Spanish scene.
Only when he made it clear this season would be his last, as if he had calmed himself internally and started racing again. He was greatly prepared for the farewell Vuelta. Because of the intestinal flu he lost in the third stage two and a half minutes, but attacked, almost every day, even yesterday.

“That’s the way I want to say goodbye, no matter the end result. So people know me, “he said.

On Sunday evening, he gets to Madrid, it’s over. And then? “Every morning, I finally go to breakfast a ham with bacon so I’ll have to change the wardrobe soon. And I’d rather not appreciate it, “she laughs.

However, the mountain stage will last for the most part.Look forward to magnificent good-bye. Hundreds of fans have to obscure Asturian England. On the mountain, considered to be the toughest climb of all the Grand Tours, Froome and Nibalim will fight for the title, and Contador will also strive for the Madrid stage of the champions. Bicycle blockbuster.

Attack, be sure.

Just the question of where.